O Sensei

I am pleased to present the first of our new series of archive videos. This footage was shot in 1957 on top of the Japanese Ministry of Defense demonstration which was located at the time in Tokyo's Akasaka area. During this event, several professors of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo succeeded to each other and demonstrated Aikido in front of the cameras. This video was brought back from Japan by master André Nocquet who at the time was living with the founder of Aikido and his family and trained daily at the Hombu Dojo.

Demonstrators are Tada Hiroshi, Tohei Koichi, Ueshiba Kisshomaru Doshu and Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei. One of the main uke in this demonstration is André Nocquet Sensei who also lived at the dojo as an uchi-deshi at the time.

Tada Hiroshi

Tada Hiroshi is one of the most prominent post-war Aikido instructors. He entered the Hombu Dojo on March 4, 1950 and became an instructor in 1954. He is now one of the last direct pupils O Sensei still in activity.

Tada Hiroshi in action

Tohei Koichi

Tohei Koichi was one of the most prominent teachers of the Aikido headquarters where he served as head instructor from 1969 to 1974. He was also one of the few instructors to have been awarded the 10th Dan (1970). Tohei is also seen as being responsible for the introduction of Aikido in the West during his journeys to the Us starting in 1953.

I had sent a section of this demonstration to Stanley Pranin for him to include in his DVD on Tohei Koichi. Stanley also had several coils from this demonstration but upon closer scrutiny, we realized that we did not have the same sections. The part that particularly interested him was this one where Tohei Sensei demonstrates his preparatory exercises, which you can also find on the DVD.

Koichi Tohei in action

Ueshiba Kisshomaru Doshu

Ueshiba Kisshomaru was the son and successor of the founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei. He occuped the function of Second Doshu from 1969 until 1989. He was largely responsible for the growth and spread of Aikido in Japan and throughout the world and it is under his leadership that the Aikikai foundation was instigated, as well as the International Aikido Federation. He has written several books on Aikido, including a biography of his father, as well as several books on the techniques and philosophy of the art.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba in action

Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei

In this video, the founder of Aikido Ueshiba Morihei demonstrates the core techniques of the Aikido curriculum, both empty-handed and through the use of weapons (Jo and Bokken). His uke in this demonstration are Tada Hiroshi Shihan and Tamura Nobuyoshi Shihan.

Morihei Ueshiba in action

I would like to thank my first teacher, Mr Michel Desroches for putting these archive films at my disposal.

About the author
Guillaume Erard
Author: Guillaume ErardWebsite:
Founder of the site in 2007, Guillaume has a passion for Japanese culture and martial arts. After having practiced Judo during childhood, he started studying Aikido in 1996, and Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu in 2008. He currently holds the ranks of 4th Dan in Aikido (Aikikai) and 2nd Dan in Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu (Takumakai). Guillaume is also passionate about science and education and he holds a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology since 2010. He currently lives in Tokyo and works as a consultant for medical research. > View Full Profile

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